Issues & Alternatives

Medical, ethical, and behavioral issues

Training & Nail Trimming Instructions
Instructions for Building Scratching Posts & Cat Trees

Saving cats' toes - one owner at a time....
Do you know someone who needs to be
convinced that this is NOT a good idea?


Declawing! What You Need To Know
Flyer from the All States Burmese Society which gives detailed, factual information as well as positive suggestions. The information may be copied and distributed, unchanged, with proper credit. It is also available in PDF format which provides an outstanding printed version:
Declawing! What You Need To Know
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Declawing of Cats
This outstanding article examines the controversial procedure and the impact it can have on the cat; it is also available in PDF format which provides an outstanding printed version:
Countering arguments for de-clawing.
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Scott Baker

.... provides compelling reasons to avoid declawing, describing the physical and psychological effects and philosophic concerns. Options are listed, including a detailed description of the proper technique for nail trimming. This on-line copy of the brochure (available from the Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights) is a must read especially for veterinarians who may feel that they are being held 'emotional hostage' by owners who claim they would have their cats killed if declawing were not an option.
Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights

Medical Issue: Declawing And Its Alternatives
Ethical Issue: The Ethics Of Declawing
Two articles from veterinarian Matthew J. Ehrenberg detailing his views on this controversial issue.
Matthew J. Ehrenberg, DVM; Cats Only Veterinary House Calls

Do Not Declaw
The City and County of San Francisco advise you to NOT declaw; a clear explanation is provided as well as advice on alternatives.
City & County of San Francisco

Declawing is not recommended
Clear reasons why owners should avoid declawing; why vets do it; serious questions to ask yourself and your vet before embarking on this course of action.
Defiant Breeders

DECLAWING:   A Veterinarian's View
Find out why this vet states that "Declawing is actually an amputation of the last joint of your cat's 'toes'. When you envision that, it becomes clear why declawing is not a humane act." Check out the list of countries where declawing is illegal, or considered extremely inhumane... then ask yourself if your cat doesn't deserve equal care and protection!!
Dr. Christianne Schelling

Stop Declaw: The Declawing Information Site
A picture is worth a thousand words.... Also provides a statement by Nicholas Dodman, DVM as well as links to numerous resources.
Stop Declaw

Declawing Cats?
This article by Reed Coleman makes it clear that this procedure is NOT equivalent to a manicure by providing info from veterinarian, Dr. James Weikum, describing the seriousness and potential ill effects of declawing as well as a brief overview of alternatives.

Is it harmful to declaw a cat?
This article, reprinted with permission from the Kitty Adoption FAQ's (Kitten Rescue Online), gives an overview of the reasons why a cat should NOT be declawed provided by veterinarians and cat experts.
Kitten Rescue Online

The Declaw Page Menu
Many excellent articles, including:
Join the Educate!! Don't Amputate!! WEBRING (You don't even have to have a catsite!!) or participate in the discussion on the Educate!! Don't Amputate!! MESSAGEBOARD. And, if you still are considering declawing, read some of the horror stories (despite what some vets claim, the outcome isn't always good).
Lisaviolet's Cathouse

The Facts About Declawing (Feline Digital Amputation - Onychectomy)
Read these facts BEFORE you subject your cat to this procedure. Includes info from vets, research results, etc.; read Dr. Nicholas Dodman's article on Understanding the Motivation of the Scratching Behavior.
Max's House®/S.T.A.R.T. II® (Save The Animals Rescue Team)

You Can't Declaw with Love
This article by Paul Rowen, D.V.M., and Carole Wilbourn describes the steps involved in declawing as well as the immediate and long-term physical and emotional consequences of this procedure.
Little Shelter

The Truth About Declawing
The Declawing Question
What Are We Doing To Our Cats?
A sample of the many great resources available from the Cats International site; the Cat Behavior and General Feline Information section also provides training advice and instructions for building a scratching post.
Cats International (formerly Wisconsin Cat Club)

Declawing of Cats - CFA guidance statement
CFA Health Committee statement, opposing the declawing of cats (onychectomy) and the severing of digital tendons (tendonectomy), and an outstanding Information summary which not only describes more fully WHY the CFA is opposed but also raises some questions regarding the validity of the "scientific studies" to which people refer when claiming that there are no ill effects....   Includes references.
The Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA)

Do you really want to de-claw your cat?
Please read this page by Jeri Dopp, first. She provides information as well as alternatives, including clear training tips and nail trimming advice.
Jeri Dopp

Declawing Cats: Manicure or Mutilation?
Important info, including
  • Why Do Cats Claw Objects?
  • Understanding Declawing
  • Three-Point Program to train a kitten or to retrain an adult cat.
  • Resources & References
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)

Paws Come With Claws
Clear, level-headed article which provides info about some of the undesirable complications and after effects of declawing; includes training tips.
Buddy Dog Humane Society

Good Cats Wear Black
Annie Bruce, cat owner consultant and author of Cat Be Good, states that "Ninety-five percent of declawed cat owners are calling about a peeing problem. (Note: The remaining five percent called about biting or chewing.)" The FAQ's: Litter Box Problems and Declawing, provides compelling evidence that declawing now can create far worse problems for owners later.
Annie Bruce

Declawing: Behavior Modification or Destructive Surgery?
This article by Tina Perry appeared in Animal Issues and provides a solid overview of the reasons declawing is unacceptable as well as tips for behavior modification.
Animal Protection Institute

Paws Come With Claws - That's One Of Natures Laws
An excellent article describing what happens to the cat and why misguided owners resort to declawing. Includes how owners can prevent damage to themselves and their furnishings without causing harm to their cat.
Mark Delman

Is Declawing Cruel?
This article includes the often pathetic consequences of declawing as well as the detailed section: Six Simple Alternatives to Declawing Your Cat.
Suzanne Bucciarelli DandyLions Cattery

Declawing Your Cat
Information to consider carefully if you're contemplating having your cat declawed; alternatives are provided.
Oakland (CA) SPCA

Clawed for Life
This section of Pawprints and Purrs has a single purpose: To educate those people seeking facts about declawing a cat. Its goal is to further the education of those who want to know why cats need the claws they come with. Includes reasons why cats MUST keep their claws, along with suggestions for trimming nails and training cats to use appropriate areas for scratching. If possessions are more important than the welfare of the cat in the family, you are urged not to own a cat.
Susie S. Bachman

Declawing Cats: Making a Humane Decision
Includes these sections:
  • Why are claws important to a cat?
  • Why do cats scratch?
  • What is declawing?
  • What risks are associated with declawing? (Medical & Safety risks)
  • What are alternatives to declawing? (Scratching Posts & Nail trimming)
The Massachusetts S.P.C.A. (MSPCA-AHES Methuen)

The Problems With Declawing
Here's why declawing creates more problems than it solves. Veterinarian Dr. Paul Rowan outlines the most commonly used procedure; article includes both the immediate and long-term physical complications as well as the emotional consequences of declawing.
PAWS Companion Animal Shelter

If You Love Your Cat, Don't Declaw!
Article discusses WHY cats need their claws, the negative impact of declawing, and clearly describes how to train your cat trim nails correctly.
Jackie Bell

If You Love Your Cat DON'T DECLAW!
Article by Celia Heriot, Pet Pride, taken from Cat Fancy magazine. you love your cat DON'T DECLAW

Declawing Problems
Internationally respected vet, Dr. Jim Humphries, talks about declawing (a response to an owner's question).
Dr. Jim's Virtual Cat Clinic

About Declawing Your Cat
A brief article clearly stating the problems with declawing and providing alternatives.
Laurie Schiff   Elvessa's Tonkinese

Claws ARE Included
A message from Monster, aka: 'Luvcatz' giving the cat's perspective on the declawing issue. Also included are descriptions of a number of excellent online resources (with links), as well as sections detailing the surgical procedures (including complications), and providing the results of pain management and opinion poll studies, etc.
Monster, aka: 'Luvcatz'

If you think, as Maxine used to, that declawing is "no big deal," perhaps you'll find her site informative; many links to other sites are provided.
Maxine Hellman.

Medical, ethical, and behavioral issues Return to the Cat Index
Training & Nail Trimming Instructions
Instructions for Building Scratching Posts & Cat Trees

Do you know someone who needs to
learn how to trim nails or train a cat?



Don't DECLAW: Train and Trim, Instead!!!
How to trim nails and train cats so that declawing is unnecessary.
Amby Duncan-Carr

Instead of Declawing...
Provides suggestions for you to use so that you can live happily with your cat, claws and all!
Humane Society of Santa Clara Valley

This article from Animal Watch provides info about why cats NEED their claws and how to retrain them to use appropriate surfaces; includes helpful tips on how to give your cat a manicure.
Jacque Lynn Schultz; ASPCA Companion Animal Services

Cat Scratch Control: You Name the Spot
This CatLife article by Rebecca Sweat includes info and tips from veterinarians Sandra Barclay, D.V.M. and John Ciribassi, D.V.M as well as Pam Johnson Bennett, a feline behavior consultant, to help you understand and redirect your cat's destructive behavior, trim nails, etc.
PetLife Online   [archived copy]

Why cats scratch and what you can do to encourage them to scratch something other than your furniture or carpets. Site also provides Declawing Info as well as a wide variety of other Cat Care Topics.

The Humane Society of Delaware County offers an extensive set of training suggestions for a variety of situations.
The Humane Society of Delaware County

Cat Scratching Solutions
Dr. Christianne Schelling provides reasons to not declaw cats, a clear explanation of why cats scratch, as well as training tips and information about Soft Paws, an option that you may find useful if you don't have the opportunity to train your cat right now or if a member of the family is medically at-risk if scratched....
Dr. Christianne Schelling

"CATFANCY Magazine" Chooses StickyPawstm one of the TOP TEN Best New Cat Products!. Find out about this product and see if it would help you train your cat.
Fe-Lines, Inc.

Scratching Furniture
Step-by-step instructions for using positive reinforcement to train your cat to use a scratching post, instead of your furniture!
Provided by author and behavior specialist, Gwen Bohnenkamp.
Perfect Paws Training Center

How can I get my cat to stop scratching the furniture?
This article by Steve Dale, Tribune Media Services syndicated columnist, gives tips for training your cat while protecting your furniture during the learning process.
Steve Dale

Biting and Scratching
Step-by-step instructions to accustom your cat to being handled and ways to train your cat not to bite or scratch you! Provided by author and behavior specialist, Gwen Bohnenkamp.
Perfect Paws Training Center

The Case Against Declawing
Lists safer, kinder, easier, and less expensive ways to deal with the problems of clawing. With a little attention and training, you can keep your cat from scratching the furniture without costly, painful surgery.
Washington Humane Society

Ask Parker
A regular feature of the NHSPCA newsletter.
This is the reply to a question regarding declawing:
I have a cat that is tearing up my furniture with her claws. Why does she do this? I'm thinking about having her declawed if she doesn't stop. Is that a humane thing to do?
The New Hampshire Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NHSPCA)

How to Keep Your Cat from Damaging Things
Training tips from a Carol McCutcheon along with her declawing position statement (contract also available online).
Mellowmews Abyssinians

Living with Your Cat, Your Furniture, and Your Peace of Mind, an article by Rachel Lamb, provides suggestions for training and positive reinforcement so that you and your cat will agree on what is (and what is not) to be used for scratching.
The Humane Society of the United States: HSUS News -- Spring 1996

Trimming Claws
Suggestions for how to correctly trim your cat's nails (without EITHER of you getting hurt).
Cindy Tittle Moore (from FAQ About Cats)

Scratching the Surface
How do I get my cat to begin scratching its scratching post instead of the furniture?
Set-by-step instructions for behavior modification and training for you and your cat.
Steve Dale, My Pet World, Tribune Media Services syndicated columnist.

Teaching your cat to use a scratching post
Explains WHY cats scratch, how to select (or make) a suitable post, and how to get your cat to use it instead of the furniture. The Massachusetts S.P.C.A. (Springfield Animal Shelter)

Feline Nail Care
Catnip Calico from Catnip Calico's Popoki Corner provides information about WHY cats scratch and includes some training suggestions.
Compiled from email and from a posting on the HomeVet Bulletin Board.

Understanding your pet's behaviour and tips for modifying it.
Includes suggestions to make the scratching post the most appealing thing to scratch in your cat's environment.
The Winnipeg Humane Society

Helping Your Cats Claw Their Way to Success
P.A.W.S. provides this overview of the behavior and ways to modify it WITHOUT resorting to inhumane mutilation.
The Progressive Animal Welfare Society

Great Kittens Have Good Owners
Guidelines to help you train and socialize your kitty; suggestions to help prevent or eliminate undesirable behavior.
Humane Society of Santa Clara Valley

Cats and their Claws
General overview, including the permanent adverse consequences that are possible, as well as suggestions for alternatives that will protect your furniture and prevent harm to your cat!!
The SPCA of Texas

A Scratching Outlet
Specific suggestions for making objects with potential "scratch appeal" temporarily unappealing and how to make acceptable scratching items more attractive to your cat.
Article by Carolyn Osier, March 1996, Cat Fancy Magazine

The New Kitten: Some Pointers about Your New Friend
Some information to help you understand instinctive behavior and train your pet more effectively.
The Central Animal Hospital

Tips for Buying or Making a Scratching Post and Training Your Cat. Includes important information and helpful instructions.
Champaign County Humane Society

Controlling Scratching and Clawing of Cats
You may have heard the common complaint, "Our cat is destroying everything in the house with her claws!", and assumed that nothing can be done (short of maiming or getting rid of the cat). This article provides clear info on why cats scratch and providing alternatives so that EVERYONE will be happy! Includes how to choose a post, how to train your cat to use it, and how to trim claws.
Pets Connection   [archived copy]


Medical, ethical, and behavioral issues Return to the Cat Index
Training & Nail Trimming Instructions
Instructions for Building Scratching Posts & Cat Trees

Do you want to learn how to build
a scratching post or a cat tree?



Cosmic Cardboard Scratchers with Catnip Cosmic Cardboard Scratchers with Catnip
Cats with claws and without absolutely love sinking their claws or kneading their paws into these corrugated cardboard scratchers All include loose catnip to sprinkle inside

Cat Tree

Step-by-step plans (including materials list, and instructions) for building a great place for your cats to perch!
Based on plans originally published in PETA's ANIMAL TIMES including modifications by Cat's Haven; revised and reformatted by Amby Duncan-Carr.


Post Build your own Scratching Post
Clear instructions, common tools, straight-forward illustration etc., from the creator, Kevin Loader! The only thing you don't get is a visit and try-out from "co-creator" and principal user, Kiki (although I'm sure he'd love to!)
[NOTE: This page is provided by the Web Archive since the original site seems to have vanished; the email address listed is probably no longer accurate.]
Kevin Loader

cat tree
Cat Tree Forest
.... describes a sturdy cat tree designed and built by Caledonia's and Liberty's people. A clear drawing is shown but no specific dimensions are included.

Kitty Sunroom and the Kitty Bathroom Plans
For $10 you can get the plans for these great kitty spots. The site has some info and pictures; get your creative juices flowing!!
John & Patricia Canivan

cat climber Cat Climber
These building directions include a list of all the materials needed; diagrams and instructions are also provided. Dave says it's H E A V Y so you may want to have help moving it if you assemble it elsewhere (or perhaps you'll want to put it together near its final location!!).
Dave Harrison

How to build a scratching post
Here are set-by-step instructions for making a Sisal Wrapped Scratching Post - cat tested and approved! Includes training advice; the Coping With Your Cat section (also on this site) provides additional training tips and clearly explains why cats should NOT be declawed.
Cats International (formerly Wisconsin Cat Club)
Sisal Wrapped Scratching Post

Do it yourself: Step-by-step directions -- Low-cost!
Instructions from Gregory and Pamela Talin-Bryant; inspirational assistance provided by Stella & Izzy.

The Cat Ladder The Cat Ladder
As you can see, Xena, Gabby, Lissy, and Lucy have done a thorough quality inspection and are quite pleased with this great cat perch made from a step ladder, cardboard concrete mold, and sisal rope, along with 2x4 anchors. Build this, add cats, and you'll have a great-looking conversation piece for any room in your home.
Anne M. Kolaczyk

"Build A Cat TREE" instructions, in common everyday language
Provides answers to common questions, hints, tips and clues for how to build your own cat tree. Also, check out the selection of unique, hand-crafted cat trees available for inspiration (or purchase).
Smith Industries

Not into DO-IT-YOURSELF projects??   Check this alternative:

Natural Scratch Natural Scratch For Natural Cats
This solid cedar scratching post system features an interactive string toy, kitty treats, catnip, and a seven-page training booklet. The new, improved version has a white cedar post, is available in two sizes (24" or 32" high) and comes with a red cedar base of equal dimensions -- this provides stability so that your cat won't have the awful experience of digging in and then having the post fall over!! The beautiful X-shaped base also provides an appealing HORIZONTAL scratching surface. Cedar provides the tactile sensations preferred by cats PLUS you're not training your kitty to scratch on the carpets!!
Ted Schaar

Catnip Trader's End Table Cat-friendly End Table
Here's the idea behind this new concept for hearth and kitty: Instead of complaining about what some cats do to some living room furniture, why not use those same activities to make handsome rooms and happy cats? This end table is not CHEAP and will be an attractive and much appreciated addition to your home!!
Jonah Kalb / Catnip Trading

  GIFs available from:
Graphics Station
  Carolyn's Cat Corner
  Nancy's Cat Gif Animations

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Amby Duncan-Carr
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Last Updated: 28 July '02 at approximately 14:55 GMT

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